Starting on New Year's Day, post-parkrun, pizza and beer with friends, I started having pretty severe gut pain. It came and went - I'd be doubled over with pain one moment, thinking about running the next. It was an 8 on the pain scale at its worst, and came with other symptoms that landed me in the ER on the 12th with a diagnosis of post-viral irritable blech.
But: it continued. On and on, through a gastro appointment that confirmed the ER diagnosis. Another week of suck. And I hadn't run since January 8, adding to the mental train wreck.
Luck would have it, the symptoms expanded (I will spare the detail here, but if you want gory details leave a comment), and I got back in for a visit on the 27th where the doctor booked a colonoscopy on the 31st.
I certainly wasn't thinking much of it - went into it fairly blase but thinking they'd send me on my way with a prescription of something or other. It was a real shock to wake up and get the news from the gastro that they found an ugly golf ball size thing causing my right colon to telescope inside itself, explaining the pain and the other symptoms. It was just too big and complicated to get out without surgery - which I underwent two days later and which was a complete success. I turned out just to be a giant benign tumor that sprung up fast (within the 10 year window of my first colonoscopy) and made trouble quickly. It, and a foot of neighboring colon, got the bums rush, stat. Six days later, I'm back to walking around the block and returning to normal.
What lessons did I learn? The best laid running plans and life plans for that matter are always best to be taken with a grain of salt. In the past, stuff has gotten derailed by other obligations, and it happens. But it never got derailed because I just couldn't. A good and humbling reminder that sometimes you just can't and don't sweat it. And sometimes you dodge a bullet, sometimes you don't, but the world spins anyhow.
So where do I go from here? Basically nothing more than getting rested and ready, slowly but surely. Two weeks out of work, then another couple of weeks taking it easy. A lot of walking and then getting back to the running thing again in mid March. Hope to see everyone outside real soon where I'll be more than happy to be out midpacking and even better once again.